Peach Leaf Curl in Central Valley, CA
How critical is it to heavily spray peach/nectarines to prevent peach leaf curl in the central valley in CA (like Fresno)? We only get about 6-7 inches of rain total from Nov thru Feb, the majority coming on relatively few days during storm weather.
I have several young stone fruits in the ground which haven't fruited (I took them off the first two years) but leafed OK and had no pests. I recently purchased a couple dozen more dwarf stone & pome fruits (genetic and rootstock dwarf) for containers -- none were sprayed by the nursery.
I've generously sprayed Liqui-Cop (8%) per the label on the peaches & nectarines with most showing full swell on buds, but no green tips breaking through. I have not sprayed any cherry or pome (a few apples and a few pears).
I help neighbors with their peach trees and they do not spray whatsoever and have very mild pest problems with no visible leaf curl. They have bountiful crops, too many if not thinned.
1st: Is this because the risk of leaf curl here is much, much lower than in the wet climates of the nation?
2nd: Should I spray my new (bare root) dwarf cherry and pome trees?
3rd: I recently purchased Micro-Cop 50% (took forever to find the last remaining stock) -- should I apply it once 10 days have passed from the original Liqui-Cop application? Or am I fairly safe with just the one before-bloom application on these immature fruit trees?